Career Opportunities in One Challenge (OC) Romania
In the 12 years that OC has been working in Romania, the team has developed solid and effective ministries in research, networking, church planting, prayer, leadership development, mentorship, youth ministry, and cross-cultural missions. Members of our team are recognized as leaders in these areas. God has used our ministries to make a significant impact on many key leaders in the churches and in Christian organizations. Our team has gathered the country’s most complete information on Romania's churches and Christian organizations. Together with other Christian groups we use this information to promote cooperation and to help the whole Body of Christ grow and function more effectively. Our team is seen as a key unifying influence in Sibiu, Bucharest and around the country.
When we look at the state of the evangelical church in Romania, there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that Romania with 3.1% of its population evangelical is one of the most evangelical countries in all of Europe. Romania has far more evangelicals than most of the countries in Eastern Europe, and it is looked upon as a leader in the region. It has the opportunity and the responsibility to help other countries to develop their churches and ministries. The bad news is that the vast majority of Romania’s people do not have a saving relationship with the Lord. Evangelical denominations began working in Romania a hundred years ago, but forty-five years of Communist oppression significantly limited the growth of the church. There is a great deal of work still to be done in evangelism and church planting - particularly in the southeastern part of the country where part of our team is located. Ten thousand villages have no evangelical church. Hundreds of new churches are needed in Romania’s cities.
Through the ministries of our team and in partnership with the local church and other Christian organizations, new areas of ministry opportunity are opening. For example, new forms of church are being tried, including cell-based churches based on discovery Bible studies. Partnerships are flourishing with both churches and missions. Our team is influential in the Partners in Mission (PIM) alliance between missions organizations and churches in Romania. Moreover, there is an amazing increase of interest in cross-cultural missions, with approximately 200 Romanians now serving on long-term missionary projects.
Our desire is to use the excellent foundation that we have established as the basis for expanding our team's impact in new ministry areas and with a larger number of churches. To do that we need lots more team members! We are looking for people with experience who can commit at least five years in one of the following areas of ministry:
Church Planting Coaches
Our team is in the midst of piloting a new cell church planning project based on discovery Bible studies in the Transylvanian region of Sibiu, and in the hundreds of communities surrounding Bucharest without an evangelical church. Some people are starting new churches, and others would like to; but many potential church planters need guidance, training, and encouragement. An experienced church planting coach could significantly increase the effectiveness of Romanian church planters and see many more churches planted!
Cell Church Specialists
More church leaders are starting to realize that they must start cell groups for effective evangelism and discipleship. Some are aware of the amazing growth that has happened in other countries using this method and are interested in trying it. A few are already doing it. We are looking for someone who can network the leaders who are using cell groups and to work with them to make this approach effective in the Romanian context and to make it attractive to the pastors. A church in Kiev, Ukraine (in a post-communist, Orthodox context just like we have in Romania) has grown to 26,000 members and has planted 300 churches. We would be thrilled to see that model reproduced throughout Romania!
Youth Ministry Specialists
OC Romania is greatly concerned about the number of young people who do not find the church relevant or necessary. Currently, our team has decided to focus more specifically in equipping and mobilizing young leaders in Romania, as they are seen as being more open to trying new strategies and have not been as affected by the old Communist ways of doing things. Romanian youth have great potential, but there is a need for people to work with them in order to build a strong spiritual formation and to develop their leadership skills.
Mentorship & Coaching Specialists
Recent surveys have indicated that Romanian pastors and leaders are frustrated that they have not had mentors or coaches alongside them to help them in their leadership positions and to guide them along their own spiritual journeys. Personal mentorship and coaching is needed of leaders in Romania in order to maximize their overall giftings and potential.
The persecution of Romanian church leaders during Communism and the emigration of leaders since the Revolution have created a crisis of leadership in the Romanian church. Many leaders lack the leadership skills that they need to effectively lead their churches. Many rural Romanian pastors are asked to oversee over 20 churches in a region (rotating from church to church each Sunday) due to the lack of pastors and leaders. We have done what we could, but we really need someone with experience who could focus on this area of ministry. The future of the church is in the hands of the leaders, and they need our help!
Our team has recently collaborated with national leaders and diverse missions organizations in Romania to develop a National Romanian MemberCare Team devoted to addressing the emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical, and financial needs of Romanians serving in full-time missions. Unfortunately, as Romanians began to be motivated and sent out as career missionaries after 2002, many of them left without any personal care attending to their personal needs as missionaries and families. Specialists are needed in this area to assure that Romanians who have answered God’s call to spread the Gospel to the nations are being cared for so that they can succeed and persevere long-term on the mission field.
Our team is influential in the KAIROS course that seeks to educate churches and leaders about the global missions movement and ways in which each person can get involved in God’s eternal plan to reach all peoples and nations with the Gospel. We are seeking people to help not only with the Kairos course and its national implementation, but also in NEW methods and ways to educate and mobilize the Romanian church in missions.
Many Romanian Christians are very reluctant to share their faith. During the Communist years it was dangerous to evangelize, and that fear has not gone away. Evangelism is often left to “experts” or to visiting foreign preachers. As a result the churches are growing much more slowly than they could. Some are reporting a decline in their number of baptisms, and some churches have been closed. There are several organizations that work very hard at evangelism, but the results are small compared to the great need that exists. We would love to have someone on our team who could work with the churches and the organizations to find and implement methods that work effectively – methods which would mobilize the believers to do evangelism and which would effectively communicate the Gospel to nonbelievers.
Cross-cultural ministry Specialist
Although all of the current members of our team are involved with the growing missions movement in Romania, we really need someone who can give himself full-time to this exciting area of ministry. There are wonderful opportunities to be involved in teaching, coaching, and mentoring missionary candidates, in leading short-term teams of Romanians, and networking with pastors and organizations who are a part of this movement. Many feel that God is calling Romania to play a major role in world missions. Come help us realize that goal!
Ministry specialist to the “Diaspora”
Millions of Romanians are living in Western Europe and Israel. Romanian churches are often among the largest and most dynamic churches in these countries. This person would interact with these churches and make available to them programs and materials that are being developed in Romania. He or she would help these churches reach more Romanians and give them a vision for reaching out to the people of their host populations. Significant travel required!
Short term / sports coordinator
There are many opportunities open to short term teams to serve the churches in Romania. Short-term teams are especially effective in drawing people to events at which they can hear the Gospel. There is a wonderful potential for using sports teams to attract crowds and to share the Gospel with them. We need someone who can make the contacts and arrangements for these teams and to supervise their projects. This person would also have the opportunity to build into the lives of the team members a greater understanding and interest in mission work.
Teacher of missionary kids
We have a specialized team working specifically with missionary children at Bucharest Christian Academy, which offers the children of missionaries and other expatriates a solid education from first grade through high school. The school provides a very valuable service to missionary families, many of which would not be here were it not for the school. It also creates the opportunity for showing Christian love to families and students from other countries and cultures. Positions for teachers are frequently coming open – especially at the high school level. Further information about the school is available through www.bcaromania.org.
If you would like to serve the Lord in Romania and have the skills and experience to fill one of the positions above, please write us right away via our Contact Form. Further information about our team and our ministries can be found at www.oci.ro. That website also contains much of the information we have gathered on Romania’s churches and the organizations that work here. Information about OC can be found at www.oci.org. Canadians should contact Outreach Canada at www.outreach.ca. We would love to talk with you, answer your questions, and learn about you and your interests.
Team members are expected to develop a solid command of Romanian, develop a good understanding and appreciation of Romanian culture, raise support for both their living and ministry costs, and work effectively in a team context. Our ministry team is strategically located in Sibiu (to centrally locate us in the country and give us greater access to the northern and Transylvanian region of the country), Bucharest (to promote ministry in the neediest corner of the country, and to make it possible for the team’s children to attend the MK school), and recently opened work in 2011 in Chisinau (Republic of Moldova).
Our team is quite multi-cultural, with members being sent from four different countries: USA, Romania (nationals), Brazil, and the Republic of Moldova. Any new team member will need to have experience working in a multi-cultural environment where no one country is seen as the ultimate authority. Our team is also putting an emphasis on actively recruiting and working with Romanian nationals—in order for them to take ownership of the missions movement within the country.